Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Thematic Photographic - Logos

Carmi at the blog "Written, Inc." hosts a photographic get-together, based on a weekly theme. This week's theme is LOGOS. Carmi asks you to consider - "How is it that a simple icon of an apple, for example, seemingly works while something else might not? How can you even measure whether a logo accomplishes its stated goal?"

This is a timely topic for me. I've got logos on the brain. A new policy at work is making me pay far more attention to logos than I ever did. I'm charged with enforcing some very restrictive rules about signs, and logos seem to be everywhere I look.

That said, my photo isn't a logo I have to think about for work, but a photograph I took last year when we visited Mexico City.


A basalt death's head, its tongue lolling out from between its bared and grinning teeth, encircled with a pleated or rayed sun-disc. When I saw it, displayed in Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology, the first thing I thought was, "what a great logo this would make!"

This is the God of Death.

Death is part of the museum's exhibition on Teotihuacan, an ancient city built on the high, swampy lake basin north of Mexico City.

The city itself is still something of a mystery, though, as scholars disagree even on the ethnic make-up of the people who lived there. Established around 100 AD, when it reached its peak by 500, it may have been the sixth largest city in the world. This artifact celebrates the importance of Death to that culture.

By the 13th century, as the Aztecs civilization blossomed, Teotihuacan was a ruin, but impressive enough that they named it "birthplace of the gods," in Nahuatl.

Death was a popular brand, in pre-Hispanic mezo-America.


In Mexico City, the "Aztec" dancers in the Zocolo decorate their gaudy costumes with a death's head motif that looks very much like the one in the Museum.




But they could also be modeling extreme sports loincloths and dance gear. Today, you may see lots of similar logos promoting popular culture - bands, extreme sports, motorcycles, video games, electronic gear or skateboards.

When you think about about staying power, Death has done an excellent job of maintaining its brand.

5 comments:

Karen S. said...

Yes indeed, this is a prefect presentation! Quite interesting too, thanks.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

And lettuce not forget the Dead!

The wheel is turning
and you can't slow down
You can't let go
and you can't hold on
You can't go back
and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
~

Max Sartin said...

Cool logos!

Gilly said...

Fascinating! Never wanted to display death on my T-shirt, but then it takes all sorts!. Thanks Aunt Snow, for a very interesting post!

Bob Scotney said...

Someone would say I'm weird if I wore logos like these at my age.